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APNewsBreak: Regulators pave way for tidal power

APNewsBreak: Maine regulators pave the way for first commercial tidal power on US grid By The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) ' Maine regulators have put three utilities on the path to buy electricity harnessed from the ocean's tides.

The head of the company behind the project says it will be the "first long-term power purchase agreement for tidal energy" in the United States.

The Maine Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday set contract terms and directed three utilities to negotiate with the company, Ocean Renewable Power, to put electricity onto the grid this summer. The company's CEO, Chris Sauer, says the contract will cover a term of 20 years.

Portland-based Ocean Renewable intends to install its first underwater turbine unit this summer on Cobscook Bay at the nation's easternmost tip.

The first turbine unit will be capable powering 20 to 25 homes; the pilot program calls for additional units to power up more than 1,000 homes by 2016.

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